13 hours ago, on 4 December 2024, the trailer for Grand Theft Auto 6 (GTA) was leaked online, sending several generations of netizens into an uncontrolled frenzy. Although the clip is only 90 seconds long, it’s already racked in over 10 million views and boasted a whole lot of surprising content that fans were incredibly stunned by.
Originally scheduled for release on 5 December, the Grand Theft Auto 6 trailer was unexpectedly released 13 hours ahead of its planned debut. The early release immediately threw the game’s publisher, Rockstar, into action.
But before we get into those nitty-gritty details of the newest installations of the video game series, let’s explain what exactly GTA is, to all my fellow non-gamers.
GTA is an action-packed, open-world crime game series. It is one of the world’s biggest video game franchises, reaching one billion in retail sales—more “than any entertainment release in history,” as reported by TIME. The most recent instalment also sits in second place, behind Minecraft, when it comes to the best-selling video games of all time, with more than 185 million copies sold. The entire franchise has sold around 410 million copies to date.
Yet, despite its popularity, the video game series has been accused of racism, homophobia and misogyny, due to the way it pushes women and other marginalised groups to the edges of importance. The franchise has been called out for its white and straight-centric narrative, as well as the absence of female lead characters and its persistence in presenting women as sex workers, damsels in distress, or simply decorative objects for male consumption and gratification.
However, the Grand Theft Auto creatives seemingly want to put an end to that. Interestingly, one of the new series’ lead characters is a woman of colour named Lucia. We see her in prison, and out of it, committing an armed robbery with a partner, who appears to be her boyfriend. Thus, there seems to be a Bonnie and Clyde-like love story involved that fans will probably be excited about. Overall, it looks like the creators have responded to the important notes around the sexualisation and degradation of women and minorities, and we are here for it.
However, while the inclusion of a woman as the lead character is a massive step forward, there are still some issues that remain for fans, such as the franchise’s historic lack of inclusivity for the LGBTQIA+ community. In the past, GTA has been critiqued for its offensive deception of trans characters, as well as its problematic approaches to homosexuality, as PinkNews has extensively reported.
As of right now, it does not seem like GTA is openly and loudly trying to remedy these missteps to become more inclusive for its global and diverse audience of fans.
In fact, it looks like the game is staying very true to its R-rated roots and the juvenile humour that have made the franchise so popular. While some great improvements, such as more racially diverse characters and different body types should be noted, it still seems like GTA has some way to go if it wants to stay relevant for new generations of players.